Make full use of eTrade programme, SMEs told

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KUCHING: Eligible small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are urged to make full use of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation’s (Matrade) eTrade Programme 2.0, which aims to kickstart and accelerate exports via participation in international e-commerce platforms.

Adhwa Azmil, assistant manager of the eTrade Programme Unit under Matrade, said the programme also aimed to assist Malaysian SMEs to have a valuable and sustainable presence on cross-border e-commerce platforms through activities such as digital marketing, e-commerce training, online export promotions, and so on in order to help them generate income.

“The eTrade Programme 2.0 is the continuation of a previous programme called the eTrade Programme, which ran from 2014 to 2020,” he said during a webinar entitled ‘Export Incentives and Exporters Development Programme by Matrade’ organised by Matrade via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday (Nov 16).

He said through the eTrade Programme, companies had managed to become first-time exporters and also penetrate new markets.

He said that in order to achieve the two objectives of the eTrade Programme 2.0, there were two financial schemes, namely the onboarding scheme worth RM5,000 and the digital marketing and training (DMT) scheme worth RM20,000.

He explained that the first scheme was for onboarding any cross-border e-commerce platform or multiple platforms while the DMT scheme was for undertaking any digital marketing activities and/or attending e-commerce training programmes.

On the eligibility criteria, Adhwa said that on top of maintaining the initial criteria imposed in the first version of the programme, there were additional criteria for eTrade Programme 2.0, including being registered with Matrade, subscribing to the MyExport portal, having undertaken the Exporters Readiness Assessment Test (Erat), and not being a service company. 

He said that for participating companies, there was also a requirement to provide feedback to Matrade.

“There is an annual online survey to measure the effectiveness of the programme and to provide recommendations to the agency for future enhancements of the programme, which in turn will benefit SMEs in the future.”

He added that some information would need to be provided to Matrade, such as the names of countries or markets penetrated, products exported, actual export sales incurred for the year via e-commerce platform under the eTrade Programme 2.0, and so on.

“All information provided will be kept strictly confidential.”

Regarding the benefits of exporting via e-commerce, Adhwa said these included opening up to wider audience and selling products across the globe, keeping up with competitors, staying open 24/7, boosting brand awareness, improving efficiency with a digitalised business process, and so on.

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